This is part of my series “Thoughts on Disney movies,” where I’ve gone back to watch all of the animated Disney features, starting with Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, and then share my thoughts on the blog.
Highlights: It’s got lots of Disney charm, and it’s funny too. The “poor people” of Nottingham are endearing, but for the most part the bad guys are just silly. The group of little kids is super cute. The romance is an interesting one here between Robin Hood and Maid Marian, because they apparently have some sort of history that happened before the movie takes place. We never really find out the details.
Low points: I’m not sure what it is, but I feel like this film just doesn’t quite capture the magic of some of the other Disney movies. I have a hard time pinpointing things that I dislike about the movie, but it’s not one of my favorites. I think perhaps it feels a little disjointed at times. Rather than having an important overarching plot, it’s a series of little stories tied together (robbing Prince John, the archery contest, etc.).
Music: As I said earlier, the music in this one doesn’t do too much. We have the rooster, a minstrel who provides a song or two, but other than that it’s really background music. None of the characters sing except for the rooster and one song by Little John. Apparently the song “Love” was nominated for an Academy Award, but it wasn’t too memorable to me. It’s a pleasant soundtrack and I like the style of music, but it’s not a huge standout.
Villain: Prince John is a bit of a pathetic villain – always sucking his thumb! He’s still capable of cruelty though. All he seems to care about is money and he will do anything to get it. That includes locking up poor, innocent people, and even killing them. He’s a villain that shows that you don’t have to be big and powerful to cause mayhem, even the slimy weak ones can do it. His sidekick, Sir Hiss, is pretty hilarious. While he’s also rather evil in the same vein as Prince John, like many villain sidekicks he gets mistreated by his master and comes off as comical. He’s actually quite a bit smarter than Prince John, but always gets into situations where he looks like the dumb one.
Fun Fact: When animator Ken Anderson originally started working on Robin Hood, he wanted to make the characters “non-stereotype” animals. For instance, he planned to have one of the villains, the sheriff of Nottingham, be a goat rather than the typical “bad guy is a wolf.” Ultimately this idea was lost.
Where in the World: I’m really struggling to find an appearance of Robin Hood in Disney World. I’ve never seen any of the characters in the parks, nor can I think of any Robin Hood related attractions.
My rating: 7.5 out of 10. A good, if not outstanding movie.